When you have a medical problem, you always visit a general practitioner first (GP or huisarts). Except in cases of emergency (immediate life threatening situations), then you call 112. If you need special care, treatments or operations, your GP will refer you to the hospital. The hospital houses doctors, specialists, nurses and has an emergency room.

Most of the time, you are welcome in a hospital near you. Sometimes, if it is a special treatment, you are directed to another hospital in the country. A number of hospitals in the country is specialized in certain treatments. 

Visiting hospitals, also the emergency room, is care that is covered most of the time by your insurance. BUT the first 385,- of special care you need, you will have to pay yourself. We call this Own Risk. More information about the own risk.

Some health insurances do not cover all treatments in all the hospitals. It depends if they have a contract with a hospital or not. Especially if you have a budget insurance, it can be that in some hospitals you have to pay (part of) the treatments yourself. Please always check if the hospital you go to, has a contract with your insurance. This is how to prevent financial surprises.

Hospitals in Nijmegen

Radboud UMC (Radboud)
Canisius Wilhelmina Ziekenhuis (CWZ) 
Sint Maartenskliniek 

Hospitals in Arnhem

⇒ Rijnstate Ziekenhuis 

Visit a Hospital for the First Time

Always take with you:
 Your ID
Your health insurance card
 Extra things (see the appointmentletter)

When you go to the hospital for the first time, be on time! Come half an hour early at least!
1. Go to the hospital desk at the entrance
2. Tell them your name, address, health insurance and the name of your GP. Always take your health card and ID with you!
3. You will receive a small electronic patient card (sometimes called ponsplaatje in Dutch). This is a small plastic card on which all of the care you receive will be registered. Take this card with you every time you visit the hospital.

Good to know:
⇒ Doctors and specialists in the hospital can have long waiting lists for an appointment. It can take a long time before you can go see a doctor in the hospital. When the situation is urgent, the GP can also give you priority to the waiting list at the hospital. 
⇒ Be well on time for your appointment! Doctors have a lot of patients and therefore have little time. They will make time for you, but mostly only 10 minutes. When you go to the hospital for the first time, you have to sign yourself up at the hospital desk and find your way to the right doctor. This takes time.
⇒ Did you miss your appointment? You will be placed at the end of the waiting list again.
⇒ An appointment with the doctor or specialist in the hospital mostly takes 10 minutes. At the first appointment the doctor will ask you about your problems and will look what kind of care will be needed to help you. At the end of the appointment most doctor will plan a second appointment for some tests or a treatment/operation. So you will not always get a treatment during the first appointment. 
⇒ Explain your problem calm and clear to the doctor. More tips on how to talk to a GP or doctor?
⇒ Do you have to stay one or more nights in the hospital? Take your own pajama, underwear and toiletries with you.

Do you have to stay in the hospital for a longer time?

It is always good to contact your health insurance and inform them about this. No need for the hospital? Is it not an emergency case? Always try to go to your GP instead of the emergency room at your hospital.  The appointments with your GP are always free from own risk and thus free.

Is your GP not available? In the nights, weekends and during holidays you can always visit the general practice center. Also appointments at the ‘huisartsenpost’ are also free of own risk. 

Safety for your own or somebody else’s life comes first!Is it really urgent or life threatening? Always go to the emergency room/first aid at the hospital. They can arrange a direct admission to the hospital if needed.